Illich Proposes Abolition of Schools
Ivan Illich, founder of the Center for Intercultural Documentation (CIDOC), a radical learning center in Cuernavaca, Mexico, called last night for the de-schooling" and deprofessionalization of society.
Illich was the main speaker at a forum sponsored by the Center for International Affairs and held in a crowded Mallinckrodt lecture hall last night.
Illich criticized current proposals for reforming the educational system in the U. S., charging that they leave the system's key faults intact.
Even if the classroom-or "class womb" -were extended to include the whole society, education would not be improved, he argued, because licensed teachers would still be determining its content and students would continue to consume it as a commodity.
He called for the disestablishment of schools and the transformation of society into a "livable, learning environment."
Margaret Marshall, a graduate student at the Ed School and the second speaker, commented that Illrich's plans for education might "perpetuate social stratification" because they rely on "total self-initiative."
Samuel Bowles, assistant professor of Economics, argued that Illich's analysis ignored the role of education in production. He called attention to the parallels between the student's lack of control over his education and the worker's lack of control over production.